John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi [which translated means Teacher], where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”
By Fr. Michael Brennan, O. Praem.
It was a cool, crisp October day when I first visited St. Norbert College (SNC) as a prospective student in the fall of 1994. One of the highlights of that visit was sitting down with Fr. James Baraniak, O. Praem., and listening to his vocation story and enthusiasm for priesthood and Norbertine life.
This past fall, serving as assistant director of Norbertine vocations, I found myself on the other side of that conversation when I had the opportunity to welcome another prospective SNC student to discuss his interest in SNC and Norbertine priesthood.
Given this encouraging visit, as well as the growing interest of several young men from Notre Dame de la Baie Academy (NDA) who are also discerning the priesthood, Fr. Baraniak, Fr. Bradley Vanden Branden, O. Praem., and I decided to host a Come and See evening for high school students at St. Norbert Abbey in early January. After joining us for Mass, Vespers, dinner with the community, and abbey tours, an NDA freshmen told me, “I’m really glad that I came tonight!”
This high school Come and See evening is one of four vocation experiences that our abbey community has hosted throughout the last several months. These well-received evenings have included men from Silver Lake College and SNC, as well as individual visits from college-aged men across the United States.
We hope to continue our journey with these young men as they discern God’s call to serve God and neighbor as members of our Norbertine community.
If you or someone you know might make be interested in joining the Norbertine community, we encourage you to contact our vocation office to schedule a similar Come and See experience!